Her name means “bee” and alludes to how organized bees are and their purposeful movements. It comes from a verb meaning to arrange or subdue. Deborah organized men in Israel and together they subdued their enemy.
Her story: Judges 4:4-5:15
Deborah was a prophet in Israel and a judge – a rare combination, especially for a woman. She loved God and was righteous in her dealings with people. During her time, Israel was overrun by the Canaanites. God told Deborah to call Barak, the commander of Israel’s army, and tell him to gather warriors from the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun and march to the Kishon River. God promised victory over the Canaanite army there. Barak refused to go unless Deborah went with him. She told Barak that because he doubted God would give him the victory, a woman would bring victory. An army of 10,000 foot soldiers set out to meet Sisera, captain of the Canaanite army, and his 900 iron chariots and all his warriors. When Barak attacked, God threw all the Canaanite chariots and warriors into a panic. Sisera escaped on foot and ran to a nearby tent. Jael, the woman at the tent, offered him milk to drink and a place to hide. When he went to sleep, she put a tent peg through his temple. Barak searched for Sisera and met Jael. She showed him what she had done. In Judges 15, Deborah and Barak sang a beautiful song praising the warriors of Nephtali and Zebulun who came to fight and giving the Lord and Jael praise for the victory. The result? Forty years of peace in Israel.
Her legacy for us:
Deborah reminds us that God uses women in mighty ways to rouse out the enemies’ armies. He also uses women to bring complete victory. Victory against the enemy and peace for our families, communities, and nation comes when we hear His voice and bravely obey.
Our response to Him: When I hear Your voice, how often do I courageously trust Your words and obey? How often do I give You the glory for things You accomplish and the peace You bring?